Electrophysiology Specialists Direct Heart Rhythm Program
Pediatric cardiologists in our Electrophysiology (EP) Center diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias. Our expert heart rhythm specialists have extensive training and the most experience in northern Ohio at treating a wide range of congenital and acquired cardiac arrhythmias in both children and adults.
Innovative Treatments for Arrhythmias in Children
Although some babies born with heart defects have rhythm issues as a child, many patients develop new rhythm problems as they age. Arrhythmias are a common heart problem in adults living with congenital heart defects (CHD).
Arrhythmias occur when the electrical system that regulates a steady heartbeat experiences a problem. As a result, the heart beats either too slowly, too quickly or irregularly – causing the heart to pump blood less efficiently. When this happens, vital organs may not receive adequate blood to meet their needs. An irregular heartbeat should always be evaluated by a heart rhythm specialist, especially when it occurs in a child. At UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we have a team to help diagnose and treat heart rhythm issues, utilizing the newest of medications, devices and other treatments to help manage your child’s condition.
Advanced Treatments Developed by Our Team
If your child has an irregular heartbeat, your pediatrician may refer you to a pediatric heart specialist. There are several tests that may be used to diagnose arrhythmias, including:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Electrophysiologic study (EPS)
- Holter monitor or extended non-invasive recorders
- Implantable Loop recorders
- Tilt table test
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age and general health. It will also depend on how severe your child’s condition may be. Our highly qualified, board-certified physicians at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s provide a range of treatment options including implantable device therapy – ranging from loop recorders to pacemakers or cardioverter defibrillators – as well as the latest in cardiac resynchronization therapy. In addition, our expert team has had tremendous success developing and using catheter ablation therapies with radiofrequency ablation and cryo-ablation.
For more information about arrhythmia issues in children:
- American Heart Association
- The Pediatric & Congenital Electrophysiology Society
- Heart Rhythm Society
Fetal Arrhythmia Team Expertise for Improved Outcomes
We take a team approach to diagnosing, treating and monitoring fetal arrhythmias, which are fairly common occurrences during pregnancy. The team consists of fetal pediatric cardiologists, pediatric and adult electrophysiologists, maternal fetal medicine specialists and a dedicated nurse practitioner. A fetal arrhythmia can often be treated using medications safely administered to the fetus by giving the medication to the expectant mother. Our team works together to continue monitoring both mother and baby throughout the entire pregnancy.
Center for Cardiovascular Genetics Collaboration for Inherited Syndromes
A genetic defect may be inherited and passed down through a family member, which can result in problems in the heart’s muscle function (cardiomyopathy) or its electrical system.
Our electrophysiology center, consisting of pediatric and adult electrophysiologists in tandem with our cardiovascular genetics services – offers clinical screening, genetic testing and treatment for inherited arrhythmia syndromes:
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C)
- Brugada syndrome
- Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CCPVT)
- Familial dilated cardiomyopathy
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Left ventricular noncompaction
- Long QT syndrome
- Short QT syndrome
Expert Care Before and After Giving Birth
Because we are so close to the advanced pregnancy services team at UH Cleveland Medical Center, mothers can deliver their babies just steps away from where expert care will be provided for their babies after delivery. If parents prefer, babies with low-risk heart defects can be delivered at another hospital location, but our fetal heart team can monitor Mom and baby throughout the pregnancy.
Our dedicated pediatric cardiothoracic intensive care and pediatric cardiac step-down units provide expert care for all babies born with heart disease. Our family-centered care approach means that parents can stay by their child’s side in the same room, during their entire hospital stay.